Monday, January 8, 2007

So You Want My Opinion

I have read and heard about the "Knit From Your Stash in 2007" initiative started by another blogger. I've read about it on a couple of knitting forums, other blogs and the staff at WEBS has been chatting about it as well. Some folks are embracing the concept, others are not. There are some LYSO a bit perturb, worried even and others that don't seem overly concerned.

My opinion was ask of me a few days back and I've been stewing on it since then. Purely as a knitter, I can respect the fact that everyone has a stash and the size of said stash is completely relative to any individual's circumstances. What is a "large" stash for one knitter, would not be much of one for another. I have what I consider a relatively large stash, but I'm sure if you saw it, many of you would be a bit disappointed. I also think what people have in their stash is very relative, meaning the dollars invested in the actual yarn - 20 balls of luxury cashmere vs. 20 balls of a closeout are two very different things when it comes to the budget.

As a LYSO, certainly any discussion of not buying yarn for any reason makes me stop and take notice. Having all of you buy yarn from WEBS is what we are here for - it pays the rent, the staff, the utitilites, etc. It pays the distributors who sell us the yarn, which in turn allows them to pay the mills where the yarn is made. If people do not buy yarn, the stores will struggle to pay the bills and the yarn distributors, who will then struggle to pay the bills and the mills where the yarn is manufactured. Do I think we are headed for a yarn apocalyps? No. And I'm not trying to make anyone feel guilty for buying or not buying yarn - just sharing what goes through my own head on a business level.

As a knitter - I can completely understand the need to work down the stash. I need to work down MY stash. But I will keep adding to it as I go. Before I even heard of this initiative, I had already decided that in addition to starting new projects, I was going to concurrentlly work on WIP that are many. Right now I am working on a scarf I started who knows when out of Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted:

It's just a simple, alternating K1, P1 for one row and then K for the next row. It's really quite pretty. I am also working on a scarf in Misti Alpaca Chunky:

I had previously mentioned that I saw this scarf in a catalog for some ridiculous price (and not even made from cashmere, mind you) and decided to knock it off. I figured out the pattern and got started and then it went into a bag and forgotten. Both of these projects are coming with me.

I am also working on Jackson's hat and maybe casting on for the handwarmers.

Oh and I also found an OLD garter stitch scarf that I started EONS ago made from Rowan Polar and Lurex Shimmer. This project was "in the closet" since we were not carrying Rowan at the time. Both yarn purchases were made at competitors stores/on-line shops to see what they were like to shop/order from.

So, my plan is that I will knit from stash and stay inspired with new as well. If you can do both, I encourage you to do so. If you truly feel you need to knit only from stash for whatever length of time is appropriate for you, then do it. WEBS will be here waiting when you are ready to shop again.

It was 71 degrees here on Saturday, January 6, 2007. Not sure what the "official" temp was, but that was the official high at my house on Saturday afternoon, not directly in the sun (that would be cheating). Personally - it was a dream day. I was warm most of the day - any day that I can be naturally warm, without 2-3 layers of clothing, is a good day for me. I had the windows open in the house, the car. . . . I am going to be a miserable little old lady - let's hope Steve can set-up me up in Miami Beach or some such warm location :)

I was not in the store today - we had a STRATEGIC MANAGMENT MEETING this morning at our house. Sounds really cool and grown-up, doesn't it? A bunch of us sat around and talked about the business, things we want to do, how we're going to do it, things that need fixin', etc. By the time we wrapped up it was close to pick-up time for the kids so I hung out here. I believe Berroco spring arrived. I'll be back tomorrow if it did to show you all of the goodies.

We leave for TNNA on Thursday. We have a ton of meetings set-up with all of the major vendors, plus two of the mills we work with. I am on the search for new, fun knitting bags and other accessories. I am excited to look at a few new yarns - the new Vicki Howell yarn from Southwest Trading for starters. Plus their Tofutsie. There are others. If there's anything you want us to carry or look for, just let me know!

The radio show ran backwards on Saturday - not backwards like devil gibberish, but the two segments were played out of order. Disappointing but not the end of the world. Fortuanately the podcast will be hunky dory. We are kicking off a new knitalong this week (not starting knitting yet - just the overview). We're going to do a felted bag that I designed. I'm excited!

Well, that's it for now. Time to get the kiddly winks ready for bed.



Karen said...

I think your opinion is very fair and that you stated it really well. I, for one, would like to knit more from my stash partially because I have pretty yarns in there that are simply forgotten about. Also, I'm not working right now, so the yarn budget is pretty small. On the other hand, I am not joining any stash-alongs because when I have room in the budget and am near a yarn store (like when hubby and I go for a weekend get-away at the end of the month) I don't want to feel guilty about buying some nice yarn. I think everything in moderation is a great was to live. :) (Of course, over-indulging once in a while is pretty great too - LOL)

Melissa said...

If I knit from my stash for a year I would have to give up design. Everything in stash is a close-out. I am saving my stash for my retirement. I have a plan. If I use it all now, what will I have left later?

Cirilia said...

Hahaha to two Kathyisms: kiddly winks and yarn apocalypse.

I liked Steve response about the dismal stats on people breaking resolutions. It's true--and I often forget that not every customer is aware of the blogiverse! Heck, I'd estimate that only 20% are, if that. And with all of those clauses, I think the dent in sales will be truly negligible.

And did you notice that the end date established by the creator coincides with Stitches East? Not an accident!

Bronwyn said...

Kathy, rather than knitting entirely from my stash (though it is very nice) I am trying to be more thoughtful in my yarn purchases. There was a time when I was partnered, didn't struggle to pay bills from time to time, and had just started to knit. Now, my consumption needs to be scaled back. So, I buy things I really love, from companies I really love (including WEBS!) I am trying to shop more at my LYS, but she pays my bills (and funds my habit) but she cannot carry *everything.*

Anyway, I'm glad you have a realistic approach to the whole thing, and I think your customers will appeciate not being "guilted" into buying yarn. <:)

Kathy said...

I am so glad to have such realistic commenters. Although life has its absolutes, knitting and yarn should not be one of them (IMHO).

Donna said...

Ok...I'm one of those that on Jan 1 proclaimed that I wouldn't purchase any yarn for 6 months while knitting thru my stash. I don't think I'll even make it through January at this point. I will however complete a project from my stash every month, even if it is a pair of socks. Can't wait to purchase some spring yarn:-)

Knitted Zebra said...

I am really enjoying your podcast and now your blog! Whoo hoo!!

Speaking of stash ~ I like what you said. I know I plan on using some things I already have purchased and I most definitely plan on buying new yarn this year!

Looking forward to the new knitting project. It looks great!

Diane said...

I'm using "knit from your stash" resolution to try to find projects for the yarns I like that are in my stash, so I can actually knit with them instead of just keeping them packed away in boxes. However, I DO very much plan on adding to my stash, esp now that I've gotten hooked on socks! Hope to meet you at Stitches next month!

Greeley said...

If you bring in Fleece Artist/Handmaiden I wouldn't need to shop anywhere other than WEBS (and my favorite indie blogger sock yarn dyers). I am working on the brand new Imogen jacket and it is a tactile and visual pleasure. I've never been disappointed with any of their yarns--the fibre & blends are wonderful quality and the color-sense is unbeatable. No idea if they wil be at TNNA though.

I'm always making an effort to knit from my stash because that's why I buy it to begin with, but it has no impact on my purchasing.

anglika said...

I think while many of the " stash dieters " were serious when they made the decision to go on a diet at that specific moment wanting to only knit from yarn they have stashed away, I doubt very much that more then just a few will stick to it.
Many people are reporting proudly that they have already slipped and the year just began.....
I think in a few more month things will be back to far as yarn purchases are concerned.....
I am glad I discovered you Webs people ( that does not sound very polite, but I don't know what to call you.....maybe Fiber Friends ?) last allows me to buy good quality yarn at decent prices and I especially appreciate your honesty when it comes to your International Shipping charges...many yarn places should take you as an example.....
A few days back you posted a scarf draped over a pink wrap blouse/jacket... I have absolutely fallen in love with the blouse pattern.
Could you please be so kind and let me know where it is from ?
It would be great in the 50-50 wool&silk I am waiting to have delivered from already told me that it's on the way...
I can hardly wait....

In The Spirit Of Knitting.....

Mexico City

Kathy said...

Hi Everyone

Thanks for all of the posts! Very exciting. I will be adding new shortly.

Angelika - the sweater on the mannequin is our "Ballet Wrap Sweater" knit in our alpaca/silk blend called Deerfield, which is 5 1/2 sts on a #6. Depending on the gauge of the wool/silk you have, the pattern should be perfect. I'll email you the link - the pattern is $1.99.

Crazy Colorado Knitter said...

I was thinking about it as everyone was vowing to only knit from their stash -- one of the ladies I knit with is doing that, and she CAN, because she bought out a lot of yarns when a LYS closed.

I thought about my "stash" and it's mostly one or two balls of something fun I thought I'd want to knit with. Maybe enough to knit a (short-to-medium) scarf with what I have of each color.

So I decided that I needed to buy a few bags of yarn so that when inspiration strikes, I can knit a sweater if I want to, without having to leave the house to get more yarn. :D

This may be my year of buying LOTS of yarn to bring my stash up to par.

Bonnie said...

I've pledged to knit from stash until September, but the truth is most of my stash came from WEBS! Basically, I'm just trying to catch up and use the bag of Cascade 220 I bought last spring for a sweater, the various other skeins of Cascade 220 for felting projects not yet started, the 13 of Silky Wool I bought in August, the Cascade Pima Silk I got for a table runner, and then there's that Berrocco Ultra Alpaca I want to make Fetching with, the Longmeadow and Mission Falls 1824 cotton I got for facecloths, . . . on and on and on!

For my birthday this month I got a skein of Malabrigo--which came from WEBS--and a WEBS gift certificate. So, so far in 2007, my "yarn diet" isn't hurting WEBS. I'm going to "get around" my yarn diet pledge by buying a book, probably a Barbara Walker treasury, with the certificate.

And when I need a new needle, I always go to WEBS because I love your bamboo circs.

sierrak said...

I don't have much of a stash (yet).

I'd like to know more about the gorgeous felted bag you have pictured. You mentioned starting a KAL. Please tell us more!

Kathy said...

Hi Bonnie

Hey - no worries. You do what works for you when it comes to knitting. I can't say we won't work hard to tempt you, but I can completely respect wanting to work through some of what you have. It's kind of where I am at with my own knitting. I have so many projects in my head - some with the yarn already home and others not. I feel a bit schizophrenic about it all at times.

Thanks for being such a great customer and we'll be here when you're ready for a new project!


Kathy said...

Hi SierraK

Thanks for the nice compliment about the bag! If you go to our homepage and click on the logo for our radio show/podcast (Ready, Set, Knit) you can download the pattern for the bag. We are doing the knitalong on our show, which airs locally in Northampton MA on Saturdays at 9:00am on 1400AM or 1240AM WHMP. If you aren't local, you can get the show as a download on iTunes or you can listen to the show by clicking the link on our website (same place as you'll find the pattern). This week's show (#12, not yet aired or posted) starts the knitalong.

The bag is fun and easy and so many folks have not felted we thought this would be a great project. The yarn is our Berkshire hand dyed, but any yarn that you get 4 sts = 1" will work, so if you already have something in your stash that will work, go for it. I like the Berkshire hand dyed simply because I love variegated yarns when they are felted.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Thanks for posting.


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